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Preview: Tomatoes!


Blog about tomato growing in Southern California.

Updated: 2018-03-05T15:36:45.810-08:00


Purchased Two Husky Cherry Red Tomatoes!


Okay, let's get caught up on things, shall we?I harvested a Tumbling Tom on June 1. I tried it and found it a bit mealy but otherwise acceptable.Last Saturday we harvested an Isis Candy and an Indigo Rose. My wife tried the Indigo Rose and said it wasn't quite ready yet. I don't know what happened with the Isis Candy, but I know the dogs have been picking off some of the mature ones before I can harvest them.We harvested a Tumbling Tom last Monday. My wife tried it and found it a bit mealy as well.Over the Memorial Day weekend we purchased two Husky Cherry Red tomato plants! We were surprised to find them. We won't have Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red or Vorlon or SunGold or Orange Paruche but at least we'll have Husky Cherry Red!I dug holes last weekend but my wife expected me to plant them and I expected her to plant them. One hole is in the "koi pond" and the other hole is where Kellogg's Breakfast was planted. Kellogg's Breakfast did nothing and was starting to wither away.This year will not be a normal year. We planted late (and are still planting!) due to a number of factors. I have pruned the branches off the ground in the "koi pond" over the Memorial Day weekend, but by last week it needed to be done again. I haven't gotten to the back yard pruning at all.Normally I'd be "training" the tomato plants every morning, but even that has been temporarily curtailed. If the weather is cool enough and I have the time, I'll do a little bit of tomato work at night. But a vast majority of the work is done over the weekend, weather permitting.I haven't even started on the on-line spreadsheet this year. There's too much to do around the house.And as it stands, I may not do daily blog updates when the harvest rolls in. I used to be able to handle this in the early morning, but no longer. If it happens, it will be at night when I have the time to get things posted.I'm not complaining about it, it's just the way things are.On the plus side, the growth of Hungarian Heart has been truly amazing. It's already approaching 5 feet tall. By comparison, I don't think any tomato plant in the "koi pond" has reached two feet in height.Almost all of the plants look quite good but will mature in the middle of the summer heat. [...]

We're Planted!


On Friday my wife planted SunSugar and Marianna's Peace. Barring any surprises, we have completed planting our tomatoes for 2015.

On Saturday I put cages on the uncaged tomatoes and moved a few of them around. Hungarian Heart continues to look great, while Black From Tula doesn't look good at all.

My wife continues to water the tomatoes as necessary.

Time permitting, I'll get the on line spreadsheet together.

We're behind on just about everything in 2015 but we plow ahead as best we can. Let's hope for a good tomato year!

Planted Two More Tomatoes; Harvested Isis Candy


On Tuesday I harvested an Isis Candy.

Because we planted late this year, my wife left the fruit on the seedlings planted in the raised beds. I'm in complete agreement with that strategy. The roots of the tomato plants in the raised beds don't get that deep (the roots reach the original ground and essentially "hit the wall") so there simply isn't too much to lose by keeping the tomatoes on the vine.

My wife tried it a few days later and didn't like it. However, this is an early tomato. I'll wait for the big flush before making a judgment. That and I didn't taste this one ;)

On Saturday my wife planted Nebraska Wedding and San Marzano in the southwest raised bed. I dug two more holes for our last tomatoes...but our son woke up from a very late nap and my wife couldn't plant them.

Today my wife watered the front yard tomatoes.

Planted Four More Tomato Plants; Isis Candy Maturing


On Saturday I dug a few more holes and my wife planted four more tomatoes -- Buffalo Heart Giant, Big Yellow Zebra, Kellogg's Breakfast and Indigo Apple in the raised bed.

I think we're down to three tomato plants left to plant. I dug two more holes in another raised bed.

On an odd note, an Isis Candy tomato is already maturing!

My wife watered the tomato plants in the front yard. Happy Mother's Day to a great wife and mother!!!

Planted 16 More Seedlings!


Big day today.

Camille came over to watch our son. That left us to dig lots of holes and plant lots of tomatoes.

In the morning I brought over three more wheelbarrows of compost to the "koi pond" and smoothed out the compost piles. I did the same for the back yard compost piles. Then I dug six holes in the "koi pond" and took a break for breakfast.

It was significantly warmer after breakfast. I dug a hole or two in the back yard and stopped for exhaustion. These back yard holes were trouble because they were in virgin, rocky areas. It took a significant amount of time to clear out about two feet of dirt. I took a shower in the afternoon and took a short nap.

Meanwhile my wife was furiously planting behind me in both the front and back yards.

In the evening I dug three more holes in the "koi pond" and one really rocky hole in the back yard. My wife filled all the holes (save one in the "koi pond" that she thought was too close to another seedling) with seedlings.

Eight tomato plants were planted in the back yard: Green Grape, Red Pear Piriform, Chef's Choice Orange, Green Zebra, Tasmanian Chocolate, Thessaloniki, Speckled Roman and Large Barred Boar.

Eight tomato plants were planted in the front yard: Black Cherry, Paul Robeson, Carol Chyko's Big Paste Black, Earl of Edgecombe, Japanese Black Trifele, Berkeley Tie-Dye, Emmy and Stupice.

I believe we have around seven more seedlings to plant.

Planted Five More Seedlings In The Back Yard


Today my wife planted Henderson's Pink Ponderosa, Porkchop, Garden Peach, Chef's Choice Orange and Indigo Apple in the back yard. A couple of these seedlings were two feet tall but still in their original container.

One interesting thing noted: Three of the holes dug on the north side near the lemon tree had some water in them! My wife attributed this to the soaker hose feeding the nearby roses.

I continued to move a bunch of compost around in the back yard, slowly flattening the two mounds.

The gardeners cleared out all the sweet peas in the "koi pond" in the early afternoon. Finally, the "koi pond" is available for planting! Late in the evening (just before 10 PM) I got three more wheelbarrows of compost into the "koi pond".

Eight More Seedlings Planted


On Tuesday my wife surprised me by planting four tomato plants -- Blue Boar Berries, Black From Tula, Snow White and Kentucky Beefsteak.

However, I wasn't able to dig any holes for the rest of the week -- I was just too busy with other priorities in the evening.

On Saturday I dug four more holes in the back yard. Yesterday I prepped the dirt and in the evening my wife planted four more tomato plants -- Nyagous, Yellow Perfection, German Orange Strawberry and Pineapple.

Tonight I managed to dig a couple more holes in the back yard and moved around some more compost.

Our seedlings are getting quite large and should have been planted weeks ago. We'll simply do the best we can and leave it at that.

Planted Two More Tomato Plants


On Wednesday I finished off the third hole left from Tuesday and dug a couple more.

Thursday and Friday I didn't do anything about planting tomatoes. If I dig too much my right knee swells and I have to back off. This was a backing off period.

Saturday afternoon I had a little time to spread out some of the compost in the back yard, but it was too hot to plant.

Yesterday I worked the TomatoMania event at Flora Gardens in Ojai. Not only was it turning dark by the time I got home, I brought home some more seedlings. I went to bed early...

...and I got up early. But I did spend time before dawn prepping the dug dirt piles for planting. Also, I added compost to all of our seedlings not yet planted.

Tonight we got two more planted: Momotaro and Aunt Ruby's German Green. Afterwards I placed compost in the spaces between the planted tomatoes.

So the short term goal is to plant tomatoes in the six remaining holes and then move more compost around the areas recently planted. Then it's dig, dig, dig more holes in the back yard. When my wife pins back the sweet peas growing in the "koi pond" in the front yard, I can dig there as well.

Dug Three More Holes This Evening


I got two more holes dug in the back yard after work and started on a third when it was time for dinner. Not very exciting, is it?

I can tell, however, that I'm digging in areas not planted before. I've been hitting too much broken asphalt in the ground. This evening one of the holes produced a small blue button. One thing about this neighborhood -- they buried their mistakes...

Last night I dealt with an accounting issue that I put off for about seven weeks. Tonight I caught up with the ironing. Tomorrow I have a couple of other niggling items I'll try to get done. Slowly but surely.

Tomorrow we are planning to plant tomatoes in the evening after work. But at this pace we won't get caught up with planting until June...

Moved Some Compost


We got some compost delivered on Thursday.

I spent Thursday through Sunday moving the compost off the driveway. We needed the driveway to park our cars. I worked furiously and was wiped out by Sunday afternoon. Note, we don't have the compost in place, we just got it off the driveway.

I did manage to dig three holes Sunday afternoon. Two of them were in the southeast raised bed. Both holes were "rooty", I assume from the ponderosa pine tree. I was able to pull out a half of a brick from the second hole.

The one hole I dug in the back yard growing area had the bottom of a glass jar within the dirt.

There was no time this evening to do anything about the compost. I worked late and had other things to catch up on.

The plants we planted are doing well. But I need to find time to move the compost to where it's needed and of course, plant more tomatoes.

Planted 5 Tomato Seedlings; Catching Up (somewhat)...


Yesterday we planted Hungarian Heart, Black Krim, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye, Dr. Wyche's Yellow and Blue Beauty in the back yard.So where have we been for the last few months? Well, we've been around. Silent, but we've been around.Here's a partial explanation...on October 17, 2014 my wife and I formally adopted our son, Tony. He was two weeks shy of two years old at the time of adoption and as two year old boys are wont to do, he is increasingly active. We've had less time for soil preparation this year (As in, none.). Tony takes first priority.During the last six or seven weeks we've all been under the weather in one form or another. In fact, Tony has had two febrile seizures during this period. Tony will be fine and will outgrow his febrile seizures, but it has been a somewhat scary time while these occur.The first occurred in late February on a Thursday while at a restaurant. We called 911 immediately and got him to a hospital. That was quite scary and concerning for us. However, he was released several hours later with no ill effects.The second febrile seizure during this period was again on a Thursday night in March. In this instance we drove him to the hospital, anticipating the upcoming seizure. He was seizing while he was brought into the hospital. This time, however, he was kept in the hospital for three days. Again, he will be fine but through it all we've learned to be acutely aware of any potential fevers he may have and "get out in front of it" if necessary.The second seizure was the night before the main TomatoMania Encino event. Because Tony was in the hospital for three days, my wife and I missed the event.We get a lot of tomato plants from the TomatoMania Encino event, and volunteer to help during the three day extravaganza. But not this year.I did work the TomatoMania event the next weekend at Descanso Gardens and got a selection at that time, 5 of which were planted as noted above. I had worked Roger's Gardens about a month ago but passed on tomato seedlings because of the upcoming TomatoMania Encino event...but you know the rest of the story.As a matter of fact we going to visit relatives yesterday but apparently Tony got a touch of food poisoning Saturday night and that scotched our Sunday plans. So we planted some tomatoes.I did a couple of speaking events, speaking about tomatoes at the San Fernando Iris Society in early February and Sunday afternoon at the Descanso Gardens TomatoMania event. Both went well but I have to watch how I meander from topic to topic...Speaking of meandering, I lost the "corner office" to my wife's roses and irises. We're not going to grow as many tomatoes as previously because of that and the fact we're starting later than ever. [...]

It's Over for 2014


It's over for 2014.The tomato plants were pulled last Saturday. They were meant to be pulled the prior Saturday but the gardeners didn't show.I didn't harvest at all during the week but I did pick off a few tomatoes before the plants were pulled last Saturday. Sunchocola, which looked pretty darn good and strong three weeks ago, got the fungal disease. The top of the plant looked like it had spider webs on it. For what it's worth the Sunchocola plant also had a couple of hornworms on it, though that's not related to the fungal disease.Our total harvest for the year ended up at 6904 tomatoes. Here are our top ten harvest totals for 2014:Orange Paruche -- 1250Sunchocola -- 1015Matt's Wild Cherry -- 683SunGold -- 666Sugar Snack -- 333Husky Cherry Red(2) -- 332Husky Cherry Red(1) -- 245Evan's Purple Pear -- 189Black Cherry -- 153Indigo Rose -- 139We added a lot of compost in preparation for this year. The plants started out strong but more importantly we were very pleased with the taste of this year's crop. However, most of the plants "hit the wall" relatively soon. Why?Well, one never knows. For instance, it could have been a weak year for seedlings...but barring a few tomato plants that didn't seem to be the issue. The soil was prepped moreso than in other years. But there were two factors overriding everything else: This was the hottest year on record and we got very little rain during the prior winter.This record's record heat is consistent with how our plants seemed to peak and die about two to three weeks earlier than before. That is clear. But what about fall and winter rains? We're warming to the opinion that the rains in the fall/winter affect next year's crop. We're beginning to believe that rain brings worms up to the top of the soil, depositing worm castings where the tomato plants can later use it. 2013 was our worst harvest year on record. In that year we had little rain the prior fall/winter and I did not prepare the soil like I did in the fall of 2013. And it showed. In 2007 I could find plenty of worms in our front yard. This year I don't think I saw a single worm anywhere in our growing area.Our plans for 2015 will involve prepping the soil similar to what we did late last year. That means we should acquire compost in the near future. But if we have a low rain amount during the next fall and winter, we may not plant tomatoes for 2015. Or we'll scale back and try to not "fight nature" as much as in prior years. [...]

Harvested Over 675 Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes This Year!


Wednesday's harvest includes 3 Husky Cherry Red(2), 2 Matt's Wild Cherry and SunGold for a total of 6 tomatoes.

No harvest Thursday. The weather got noticeably warmer, getting up to 95 degrees.

Today's harvest includes 10 Husky Cherry Red(2), 3 Matt's Wild Cherry, SunGold and Husky Cherry Red(1) for a total of 15 tomatoes.

We've now harvested over 675 Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes this year (677)! Right now it looks like Matt's Wild Cherry will hold off SunGold for third place on the 2014 harvest total. Also, we've now harvested 325 Husky Cherry Red(2) tomatoes this year.

It got down to 54.7 degrees this morning but it is supposed to get hotter than yesterday.

September 2014 Tomato Analysis


Let's take a look at the September numbers from top to bottom...

2011 -- 768 tomatoes
2010 -- 717 tomatoes
2012 -- 700 tomatoes
2007 -- 647 tomatoes
2014 -- 372 tomatoes
2008 -- 204 tomatoes
2013 -- 199 tomatoes
2009 -- 181 tomatoes

This year was fifth out of eight years. That has been fairly consistent throughout the year.

My original estimate of 550 tomatoes was far enough away to be a miss. The adjusted estimate of 400 was good.

German Orange Strawberry and Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red were pretty productive for the month of September. SunGold started fairly strong while Matt's Wild Cherry got a second wind toward the end of the month.

We're down to five plants now, four in the back yard and Sunchocola in the front yard. Sunchocola is getting a lot of blooms but we're due for a heat wave very soon.

However, I'm getting bored with the remaining plants. I'll keep 'em around for a bit but they may not make it to the end of October. We'll see. Because of that I won't make an estimate for October.

Harvested 650 SunGold Tomatoes This Year!


Last Tuesday's harvest includes 2 Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, 2 Matt's Wild Cherry, Porkchop(1), SunGold, Husky Cherry Red(1), Husky Cherry Red(2) and Sugar Snack for a total of 9 tomatoes.Wednesday's harvest includes Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Matt's Wild Cherry and Husky Cherry Red(2) for a total of 3 tomatoes.Thursday's harvest includes 2 Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Porkchop(1) and Matt's Wild Cherry for a total of 4 tomatoes.Friday's harvest includes 2 Matt's Wild Cherry, Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Indian Stripe and Husky Cherry Red(1) for a total of 5 tomatoes.Saturday's harvest includes 8 Matt's Wild Cherry and Husky Cherry Red(1) for a total of 9 tomatoes.I pulled out Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Indian Stripe, Porkchop(1) and Sugar Snack. The gardeners threw them away. I gave the gardeners all of our remaining tomatoes.We're down to five plants...No harvest on Sunday.Monday's harvest includes 4 SunGold and Matt's Wild Cherry for a total of 5 tomatoes.Today's harvest includes 5 Matt's Wild Cherry, 4 Husky Cherry Red(2) and 3 SunGold for a total of 12 tomatoes.We've now harvested exactly 650 SunGold tomatoes this year! SunGold still resides in fourth place on the harvest list but could make a comeback.Some of the Sunchocolas are maturing but look "wobbly" at the moment. We'll see how that goes. Meanwhile, there's another big heat wave coming. That will wipe out the second wave Sunchocola tomato blooms that have been increasingly appearing... [...]

Harvested Over 650 Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes This Year!


So let's catch up on things...No harvest on Tuesday. But Tuesday only got to 100.4 degrees (that's bad enough). The prior three days were over 107 degrees.Wednesday's harvest includes 5 Michael Pollan, 2 Matt's Wild Cherry, Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Porkchop(1), SunGold and Husky Cherry Red(1) for a total of 11 tomatoes.Thursday's harvest includes 3 SunGold, 2 Matt's Wild Cherry, Sunchocola, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Husky Cherry Red(1) and Michael Pollan for a total of 9 tomatoes.No harvest on Friday.Saturday's harvest includes 6 Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, 5 Matt's Wild Cherry, 3 Michael Pollan, 2 SunGold, Sunchocola, Husky Cherry Red(2) and Sugar Snack for a total of 19 tomatoes.Sunday's harvest includes 4 Matt's Wild Cherry, 3 Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, 2 Michael Pollan and Indian Stripe for a total of 10 tomatoes.I pulled out seven tomato plants on Sunday. These included Michael Pollan, Captain Lucky, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Pineapple and Speckled Roman(2).There are nine remaining plants, four in the front yard and five in the back yard. The strongest remaining plant is Sunchocola.We've now harvested over 650 Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes (651)! Also, we harvested over 100 Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red tomatoes this year (102).The Matt's Wild Cherry totals in relation to SunGold have been interesting. Originally, SunGold was out in front but was passed by the hard charging Matt's Wild Cherry. Matt's Wild Cherry was comfortably in third place behind Orange Paruche and Sunchocola but well over 100 tomatoes in front of the fourth place challenger, SunGold. Then SunGold got a second wind after Matt's Wild Cherry went into recovery mode. Day by day I'd harvest SunGolds while Matt's Wild Cherry lay idle. I'd harvest several SunGolds a day, nothing dramatic. But day after day the SunGold totals began creeping up to where it was approaching the third place total of Matt's Wild Cherry. At that point (a week or two ago) Matt's Wild Cherry appeared to wake up while SunGold was running out of juice. SunGold got to within one tomato of Matt's Wild Cherry (639 to 638) but could not cross into third place. I started harvesting Matt's Wild Cherry again while SunGold appears exhausted. Now Matt's Wild Cherry has a nine tomato lead, 651 to 642 for SunGold. Today's harvest includes 2 Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Matt's Wild Cherry, Husky Cherry Red(2) and Sugar Snack for a total of 4 tomatoes. [...]

Pulled Out 8 More Tomato Plants


Sooooo let's catch up on things...Friday's harvest includes 3 Sugar Snack, 2 Blue Beauty, 2 Michael Pollan and Dr. Wyche's Yellow for a total of 8 tomatoes.Saturday's harvest includes 2 Sunchocola, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), 2 Michael Pollan, SunGold, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Black Cherry, Husky Cherry Red(1) for a total of 10 tomatoes.I took the cages off of the tomato plants I wanted to be removed. As I was completing this chore the gardeners arrived. They threw away German Orange Strawberry, Bread and Salt, Speckled Roman(1), Blue Beauty, Black Icicle, Persimmon(1) (not Persimmon) and Black Cherry.I gave away a lot of our harvested tomatoes to the hard working gardeners.Sunday's harvest includes SunGold, Sugar Snack and Michael Pollan for a total of 3 tomatoes.I pulled out Evan's Purple Pear, missed by the gardeners.Today's harvest includes Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Pineapple and Michael Pollan for a total of 3 tomatoes.We've now harvested exactly 75 Pineapple tomatoes and exactly 75 Michael Pollan tomatoes!The real story is how the tomato harvest has essentially died. There's not much left to harvest, though the Sunchocola plant is making a comeback. Whether there will be fruit from this comeback remains to be seen.The other story is the heat. Wednesday's high (mentioned in a prior post), 99.9. Thursday's high, 100.4. Friday's high, 103.1. Saturday's high, 106.4. Sunday's high, 107.3. Blistering heat. If Sunchocola had blooms, they would all be sterilized by now. But Sunchocola doesn't have a lot of blooms at this point and may still produce a second wind. [...]

Harvested 325 Sugar Snack Tomatoes This Year


Today's harvest includes 2 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Blue Beauty, 2 Husky Cherry Red(1), 2 Sugar Snack, Pineapple, Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Porkchop(1), Bread and Salt (6 ounces), Speckled Roman(2) and SunGold for a total of 15 tomatoes.

Bread and Salt and the German Orange Strawberry were good tomatoes, the rest was ordinary.

It got up to 99.9 degrees yesterday. A heat wave has arrived and records may be broken this weekend. On another note, the .08 inches of rain on September 8 broke the previous record of .07 inches of rain on September 8, 1982. Tell your friends!

We've now harvested exactly 325 Sugar Snack tomatoes this year! Not too bad for a container plant.

It looks like I won't be hitting any imminent milestones so I'll start to combine multiple harvest days in a single post.

Harvested Over 300 Husky Cherry Red(2) Tomatoes This Year!


Today's harvest includes 6 German Orange Strawberry, 3 Blue Beauty, 3 Husky Cherry Red(2), 2 SunGold, Sunchocola, Bread and Salt, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Matt's Wild Cherry, Evan's Purple Pear, Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Husky Cherry Red(1) and Sugar Snack for a total of 22 tomatoes.

The Bread and Salt tomato and the Sunchocola tomato were pretty good while the rest was unremarkable.

It looks like my inital estimate for this month's tomato harvest of 550 will be too high. A better guess now that we're 10 days into the month is a harvest of 400 tomatoes.

It looks like we'll have a heat wave kicking in this weekend.

We've now harvested over 300 Husky Cherry Red(2) tomatoes this year (302)! Both Husky Cherry Red plants keep chugging along.

Harvested Over 625 SunGold Tomatoes This Year!


Today's harvest includes 8 SunGold, 6 German Orange Strawberry, 4 Sugar Snack, 2 Evan's Purple Pear, 2 Husky Cherry Red(1), 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Bread and Salt (8 ounces), Blue Beauty, Speckled Roman(2), Black Icicle, Persimmon(1) (not Persimmon) and Dr. Wyche's Yellow for a total of 30 tomatoes.

Today's Bread and Salt was the star of the show while the rest was rather ordinary.

I got started a little early today and may have missed some Sunchocola tomatoes to harvest. I was going to pull out Speckled Roman(1) but the trash pickup came too soon. So I left it in the ground.

This morning's air had a crisp fall feel to it. It was refreshing!

We've now harvested over 625 SunGold tomatoes this year (631)! SunGold is about to pass Matt's Wild Cherry in total harvest for the year. This should happen later this week.



No harvest Saturday.Sunday's harvest includes 11 German Orange Strawberry, 6 Evan's Purple Pear, 3 SunGold, 3 Persimmon(2) (not Persimmon), 3 Husky Cherry Red(1), 3 Husky Cherry Red(2), 3 Sugar Snack, 2 Speckled Roman(1), 2 Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, 2 Aunt Ruby's German Green, Pineapple, Speckled Roman(2), Black Icicle, Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Solar Flare, Black Cherry and Beauty King for a total of 45 tomatoes.After the harvest I pulled out 4 back yard tomatoes -- Solar Flare, Beauty King, Neves Azorean Red and Persimmon(2) (not Persimmon). Later on in the day I determined that Speckled Roman(1) can go but it hasn't been pulled yet.No harvest today. But there's an explanation...My alarm went off at 6:15AM. I got up and heard a noise I was unfamiliar with. Can that be rain?!?! So I looked out the front door...and it was pouring rain! After 10 minutes the rain had basically stopped but it was too wet to harvest. In taking a look at the nearby Pierce College Weather web site, they got .06 inches of rain between 6:10 AM and 6:20 AM. Not much, of course but for a 10 minute span that's not bad. And in Southern California, we'll take anything. And our Monday sprinklers went off at 6:22 while the rain was still occurring. Anyway, this "storm" only dropped .07 of an inch so far, but WE WILL TAKE IT, THANK YOU!To give you an idea how surprised we were about this rain, we had a couple pieces of clothing on a clothesline outside drying overnight... [...]

Harvested Over 225 Husky Cherry Red(1) Tomatoes This Year


No harvest Thursday.Today's harvest includes 9 German Orange Strawberry, 5 SunGold, 4 Pineapple, 4 Black Cherry, 4 Husky Cherry Red(1), 3 Blue Beauty, 3 Solar Flare, 2 Bread and Salt (8.5 ounces, 6 ounces), 2 Evan's Purple Pear, 2 Persimmon(2) (not Persimmon), 2 Beauty King, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Indian Stripe, Sunchocola, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Matt's Wild Cherry, Black Icicle, Persimmon(1) (not Persimmon), Sugar Snack and Michael Pollan for a total of 50 tomatoes.I don't know if I've ever harvested as many as 9 German Orange Strawberry tomatoes before. That's quite a haul for an oxheart tomato. However, all of them were somewhat undersized. The Indian Stripe tomato was quite nice as well as both Bread and Salt tomatoes. We hit several milestones today. We've now harvested over 225 Husky Cherry Red(1) tomatoes this year (228)! Also, we've harvested over 150 Black Cherry tomatoes this year (151), over 50 German Orange Strawberry tomatoes this year (55) and over 50 Blue Beauty tomatoes this year (52). [...]

August 2014 Tomato Analysis


Let's compare the August numbers...2014 -- 1942 tomatoes2013 -- 1320 tomatoes2012 -- 3240 tomatoes2011 -- 3863 tomatoes2010 -- 2165 tomatoes2009 -- 3250 tomatoes2008 -- 1004 tomatoes2007 -- 2806 tomatoesFive years were higher, two were lower. What's notable is that for the July analysis, the 2010 total was slightly higher than 2014. The same is true for August. We may have a precedent...My original estimate of 1650 tomatoes was a little low but it wasn't too far off.The tomatoes weren't bad but they weren't great either. They were more like September tomatoes -- a little thicker skin, inconsistent maturing on the skin, not bad but not great taste. Standouts were Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Blue Beauty and Husky Cherry Red.So why is this happening? Well, we still believe it was quite a good year. The compost really helped and the kelp meal added to the seedlings didn't hurt, either. But Southern California is under drought conditions. We had a second consecutive low rain year and therefore the worms didn't have the environment to do what they do during the winter. Also we had the hottest first six months of the year in recorded history. To recap, we prepared very well for this year but nature didn't cooperate. This left us with great tasting tomatoes starting out but we had no "staying power" for lack of a better term. The hot conditions burned out the plants and the season sooner than usual.For the upcoming months Sunchocola will be the wild card. Although doubling over in places, our Sunchocola plant is getting strong new growth. But will this new growth translate into new blooms and new tomatoes? Time will tell. The rest of the plants are burning out, though either of the Husky Cherry Red plants could make a bit of a comeback.Since we may have established a pattern, let's look at the upcoming 2010 numbers.September 2010 -- 717 tomatoesOctober 2010 -- 261 tomatoesNovember 2010 -- 214 tomatoesDecember 2010 -- 90 tomatoesTotal 2010 harvest -- 8092 tomatoesIt looks like 2010 had the "staying power" that I believe this year will lack.Last month's estimate of 7500 total harvested tomatoes looks consistent with the 2010 numbers. But I'll revise that estimate down to 7300 harvested tomatoes for the year. For September 2014 I'll estimate a harvest of 550 tomatoes. [...]

Harvested Over 6500 Tomatoes This Year!


Today's harvest includes 3 Sunchocola, 3 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Porkchop(1), 2 Blue Beauty, 2 SunGold, 2 Evan's Purple Pear, 2 Beauty King, Indian Stripe, Earl of Edgecombe, Bread and Salt, Pineapple, Speckled Roman(2), Black Icicle, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Solar Flare, Husky Cherry Red(1), Sugar Snack and Michael Pollan for a total of 27 tomatoes.After this morning's harvest I pulled out Earl of Edgecombe. My wife wanted it out so she could plant sweet peas. I was waiting for one more tomato. The tomato was maturing but I picked it a day or two early -- today was trash pickup day (delayed a day due to Labor Day). So I harvested and pulled out the plant.We haven't had a double figure harvest in the front yard in several weeks. Today we harvested 11 in the front yard. I didn't harvest on August 25 so I'm not counting the August 26 front yard total of 13...we have to go back to August 20 to find the last double figure front yard harvest of 11.The Indian Stripe tomato was nice and the Bread and Salt tomato was all right. The rest was unremarkable.It looks like I missed a milestone that occurred a few days ago. We've now harvested over 6500 tomatoes this year (6566)! It looks like we crossed the 6500 threshold on Monday and I missed it. If Sunchocola gets a second wind we should get past 7000 harvested tomatoes. Then again I may just get tired of it and pull 'em out before the 7000 mark. But for the forseeable future, we continue on... [...]

Harvested 175 Evan's Purple Pear Tomatoes This Year


Monday's harvest includes 9 SunGold, 5 Evan's Purple Pear, 3 Black Cherry, 3 Husky Cherry Red(1), 2 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Sunchocola, 2 Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), 2 Pineapple, 2 Black Icicle, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Porkchop(1), Blue Beauty, Neves Azorean Red, Solar Flare and Sugar Snack for a total of 37 tomatoes.I pulled out five tomato plants. These were Momotaro, Blue Gold, Volunteer(4), Porkchop(2) and "Green Zebra" (not Green Zebra). All were back yard tomato plants. I was tempted to pull out more but decided at the last minute not to do so. Black Cherry, you're on borrowed time...I did water the remaining back yard tomatoes in the ground one more time.We did hit one milestone. We've now harvested exactly 175 Evan's Purple Pear tomatoes.Today's harvest includes 4 SunGold, 2 Speckled Roman(1), 2 Porkchop(1), 2 Blue Beauty, 2 Matt's Wild Cherry, 2 Black Cherry, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Pineapple, Black Icicle, Evan's Purple Pear, Beauty King, Husky Cherry Red(2) and Sugar Snack for a total of 21 tomatoes.Again, the Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1) tomato was nice while the rest was unremarkable.The only thing notable for today was that I've been miscounting Beauty King as Solar Flare. Oh well. I won't go back and fix it. [...]